Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that often gets overlooked. This dish gets you the perks of classic eggplant parmesan, but with the addition of protein. We suggest using sausage as your meat, but this can be done with ground beef, chicken, turkey, or even a vegan meat/seitan. If you don't use sausage just make sure you season your meat a tad more as sausage will already be seasoned. Enjoy this quick, easy, and delicious meal!
2 medium eggplants sliced and scooped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound loose sweet Italian sausage (hot sausage, ground beef, or ground chicken/turkey also work for this recipe.
1 onion diced
2 cups tomato diced
1 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 376F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, place on an oiled baking sheet cut sides facing up, and roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the eggplant from the oven and allow to cool. While the eggplant is roasting and cooling, prepare everything else. Keep the oven on.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the sausage meat and the diced onion to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the sausage is mostly cooked.
Add the diced tomato and minced garlic to the meat, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the fresh parsley and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt & pepper if desired. REMEMBER! Your sausage is seasoned already to do not season too much. Taste the mixture before adding more salt. If you chose to make this recipe with ground beef or turkey/chicken then you will need more salt and pepper.
Now back to the eggplant! Once the eggplant is cool enough to touch, carve out little boats from the eggplant by using a knife to carefully cut around the edge (be careful not to slice through the skin!), and then using a spoon to scoop out the eggplant flesh. Roughly chop all the eggplant flesh into small 1/2-1 inch pieces.
Add the breadcrumbs and the chopped eggplant chunks right into the skillet with the sausage and mix well. If you do not like that much eggplant or do not have breadcrumbs available (you can make your own by putting some toasted bread in a coffee grinder), then you can skip this step and everything will still be delicious.
Stuff the eggplants with the sausage mixture, top each eggplant boat with 1/4 cup cheese, and bake at 375F for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped parsley or basil. Allow to cool and enjoy!
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